While breadcrumb pasta came from humble beginnings, you won’t find this dish humble at all. With spaghetti coated in olive oil, a hint of garlic, and crunchy bread crumbs, you would never think that this delicious meal came as a result of leftover bread turned stale. This dish was originally created to use leftover bread along with other limited ingredients, and it became a household staple in Southern Italy. There are many variations of this meal from different regions of Italy. To try a different version of this recipe, add sausage or anchovies. This dish can also be sweetened by adding sugar or honey, as was custom during certain holidays in Italy.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
- 1 cup gluten-free homemade breadcrumbs or store bought
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 200 grams pancetta (Italian bacon), trim fat and chop
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon crushed chili pepper
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 350 grams of gluten-free spaghetti salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Reserve half a cup of the boiling water and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the pancetta, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until the pancetta is golden-brown, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the chili pepper and cook until sizzling, about 2 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium and add the breadcrumbs. Cook until they are golden-brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until the breadcrumbs are crispy and brown, about another minute. Remove from heat, stir in the parsley, and set aside.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook per the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the pancetta, the breadcrumb mixture, and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Add some of the reserved water to moisten, if necessary.
- Top with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and serve.